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September 20, 2007

My siblings and cousins inMassachusettes would chide me if I complained about our odd”winter storm” that blew into Silicon Valley yesterday, in themiddle of what should be our “Indian summer”.

But it’s a little cold here.

Get some hot coffee in Los GatosItwas 65 degrees in the Handy house this morning (and in the highforties outside). The heater had to go on or this blogger wasn’tgetting out of bed. The dust burned off and smelled the place upinitially. After flipping the thermostat back onto “sensingmode”, I flipped on the coffee. This time it’s Peet’s. But whenthat’s gone I’ll be dripping something from Burundi that mybrother got while at a theological conference there a couple ofweeks ago.

In college and grad schoolespecially, I spent a lot of time at coffeehouses. Some of myfriends today really don’t make coffee at home – they always go outfor it. Several Realtor colleagues of mine bring along their laptopor tablet computers and socialize with the regulars while catchingup on email, or reading news online. For me, visiting a coffeehouseis a treat.

Last night I was invited tojoin the Bay Area Ghost Hunt folks atStarbucks in Los Gatos at 6:30. Personally, Iprefer mom & pop shops, locally owned ones, but I do lovegetting a latte with sugar free hazlenut syrup – yum! Thatis also available at Seattle’s Best inside ofBorder’s in Old Town, a bookstore we can’t seem to stay away fromfor a week at a time.

Independent, Locally Owned LosGatos Coffeehouses

A hot beverage is steps away if you are in Los GatosButlet’s talk locally owned coffee stores. In Portland, wherecoffee is as serious as it is in Seattle but chain stores areshunned, you hear people joke that “friends don’t let friends drinkStarbucks”. And they mean it! Mom and pop shops all theway.

So here in town, where do you like to go? Here are mythree favorite ones:

* Yogurt Delite at 464 N Santa Cruz Ave(olderarticle about this neat shop)
* Great BearCoffee Roasting 19 N Santa Cruz Ave
* Los Gatos CoffeeRoasting at 101 W. Main Street near University

Yogurt Delite has a name that does not implycoffee and breakfast munchies, but it does provide those along withfree wireless internet. It is a smaller shop than my other twofavorites, so if you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy yourcuppa joe, this is it. Parking is easy as it’s close to Safeway andPetco.

Great Bear has cool art, both mural art and localframed art on display. (No, the art isn’t all good, but it isall interesting.) It’s a larger shop and centrally located in the”main drag” area. Parking is not hard on N. Santa Cruz in themorning (afternoons are another matter) but there’s also a parkinglot in back, off Main Street.

The Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company really doesroast its own coffee – you can smell it. It is the largest of mythree favorite coffee places in town, with tons of seats. If youlive in town and are at all involved, it’s impossible to go thereand not know or at least recognize someone. But parkingcan be an issue in this congested part of town. It’s easiest tostop in there if you’re doing several store visits in the area, orif you can arrive on foot or bike. It’s not too far from the LosGatos Creek Trail so many patrons here seem to be motor-vehiclefree.

As for me, my kids have just leftfor school and my mug has managed to get empty. Time to fill ‘erup. And maybe today I will swing by one of my favorite coffeehouses for a little decaf. Actually, I had some serious insomnialast night. Maybe it will be regular.